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Like It or Not, There Are Grounds For Seahawks to Run It Back in 2022

Contrary to popular belief, running it back in 2022 makes sense for the Seahawks. Ty Dane Gonzalez explains why.

Prior to this season, the Seahawks had missed the playoffs once since quarterback Russell Wilson was taken in the third round of the 2012 NFL Draft. That was 2017, when they still managed to finish above .500 at a record of 9-7. What could have been seen as a bump in the road instead led to significant organizational changes, such as the firings of both offensive and defensive coordinators Darrell Bevell and Kris Richard, as well as the injury-assisted dismantling of the storied "Legion of Boom."

Therefore, with Seattle quickly going from Super Bowl hopeful to a bottom-10 team over the course of the 2021 campaign, many have anticipated a complete teardown of the franchise's structure. After all, the team's 7-10 record was the worst under head coach Pete Carroll, who's only won three playoff games in the seven years since the nightmare that was Super Bowl XLIX. Add in the ongoing trade speculation revolving around star quarterback Russell Wilson and a few offseasons that left more to be desired from general manager John Schneider, all signs pointed to a little over half a decade's worth of frustrations finally coming to a head following this disastrous year. 

But before Sunday's Seahawks-less playoff action began, ESPN NFL insider Chris Mortensen reported that both Carroll and Schneider will return for the 2022 season. This news, understandably, received mixed reactions from the Seattle faithful on social media—many of whom have pounded the table for major personnel changes since the midseason point and even earlier. However, popular or not, there are grounds for team chair Jody Allen's lack of action. 

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With all that said, there is no denying the fact that Seattle has to considerably improve in several areas along its roster, as well as retain many of its key contributors in free agency this March. But there are clearly building blocks in place, and the team is currently projected by Over the Cap to have $51.5 million in salary cap space—the sixth-most in the NFL.

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It may be odd to say this about an organization coming off its worst season in 13 years, but you don't have to squint to see a pathway back to prominence. Momentum has been accrued, an identity has been found and there are plenty of resources at Schneider's disposal to reinforce the roster across the board. Of course, some demons, particularly in free agency, will have to be exorcised along the way for the longtime general manager. 

Interestingly, while those on the outside have painted a different picture, both Carroll and Schneider have received plenty of unprompted public support from several Seahawks players. Impending free agent safety Quandre Diggs quote-tweeted Mortensen's report on Sunday claiming anyone who feels their widely demanded exits would benefit the franchise is "crazy." 

Frankly, it doesn't sound like Seattle's leadership group has lost its locker room—quite the opposite, in fact. That's not to say every single player on the roster is a fan of Carroll and his philosophy, or there's not even a hint of dysfunction in parts of the franchise, but the notion that the players and a particular sect of the fanbase are in agreement on where the team needs to go is overblown.

In a year's time, if things stand in a similar fashion to how they do now, the situation can be re-evaluated. By that point, the biggest domino that could fall, Wilson, will be entering the final season of his four-year, $140 million extension. 

But with the Seahawks currently in the driver's seat on that front, boasting one of the better cap situations in the league and coming off a season marred by multiple key injuries, completely reshaping the landscape of the organization simply feels inappropriate at this time.